It is very important to be meticulous when endorsing (signing) a check. Usually it is quite simple to cash a check that is written to you. All you have to do is endorse the back of the check. You should always remember to sign your checks in ink. Ink is the only medium that is considered legal to use in endorsing a check. You should make sure to keep all endorsements within the boundaries of the endorsement area on the back of the check.
There are two main types of check endorsements. The first one is called a ‘Blank Endorsement’. The other type is called a ‘Restrictive Endorsement’. With a blank endorsement you simply sign the back of the check and cash it. “For Deposit Only” is a restrictive endorsement. When this message is written or stamped beneath an endorsement it means that the check can be deposited; but, not cashed. With restrictive endorsement you can be certain that no one can cash your check and that it will only be deposited.
Before signing a check you need to first make certain that all of the other information on the check is correct. Endorsement of a bad check or improper endorsement can lead to a check being returned and not paid. You can encounter legal issues, added fees and more if you are not detail-oriented when presenting checks to your bank to be cashed or deposited.
Sometimes you may receive a check that has your name printed wrong on it. When this happens most banks will tell you that you need to sign the check twice. You will need to first sign the check in the exact way that it is printed on the front of the check. Under that signature you will then need to sign your name again the correct way. The correct way being the way that it appears in your bank records.
It is a good idea not to sign a check until you arrive at the bank. If you sign a check before cashing it and lose it, someone else will be able to cash your check pretty easily. One way to avoid becoming a victim of check theft is to always endorse every check that you present to your bank. It will be much easier for you to prove that someone who shouldn’t have endorsed and cashed your check when you have many examples of your signature on file.